Linux To Solve Traffic Woes

Concentrate a bunch of geeks in the Boston Area (like, at MIT), and eventually one of them will get a driver’s license and discover how bad the traffic is. And invent something…

At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), researchers are testing a Linux-based automotive telematics system intended to reduce traffic congestion. CarTel is a distributed, GPS-enabled mobile sensor network that uses WiFi “opportunistically” to exploit brief windows of coverage to update a central traffic analysis program.

[source]

Meanwhile, in California, where people just have a different view of the world, a similar result is being sought using cell phones:

The convergence of communication and multi-media platforms has enabled a key capability: mobility tracking via GPS. Business plans of most major cellular phone manufacturers such as Nokia include embedding GPS in all manufactured cell phones within less than 18 months. Thus, a high penetration rate of GPS-equipped travelers on freeways is expected in the near future. This has major implications for the traffic engineering community, which currently monitors traffic using mostly fixed sensors such as cameras and loop detectors, or location specific sensors such as FasTrak or EZ-pass transponders.

Soon, using universally available equipped cell phones, a new category of location-based services will become possible: multi-modal travel time estimation for commuters using bikes, busses, cars, or trains; itinerary advisories for navigation; geolocalization and context aware applications for social networks; cell phone based monitoring applications for epidemiology in developing countries.
[source]

Comments

  1. #1 Dunc
    February 5, 2008

    Coming next: Linux to transmute lead into gold, raise the dead. ;)

  2. #2 Mark P
    February 5, 2008

    I long ago figured out how to solve Atlanta’s traffic problem. In the past, continuing through today, the solution has been more lanes and more roads. The obvious solution is to start closing lanes and blocking roads. It would hurt for a while, but I promise it would solve the problem. You have to understand that anyone choosing to live in Atlanta (and I presume similar places) is an idiot and only drastic measures can change their behavior.

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